Hawaii officials say new ramp best option at volcano beach

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POHOIKI BAY, Hawaii (AP) — Engineers in Hawaii have recommended building a new boat ramp at a site blocked by last year's Kilauea volcano eruption, a report said.

A new ramp at Isaac Hale Beach Park is a less costly alternative than excavating a new channel at Pohoiki Bay, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.

The estimated cost to restore the boat ramp is about $37.9 million, more than twice the estimated cost of building a new boat ramp at the Malama Flats alternative site to the south, officials said.

While the eruption spared the ramp in the Big Island recreation area also known as Pohoiki Beach Park, lava flows blocked it with what is now a black-sand beach that is 200 feet (61 meters) wide.

The park reopened to the public in early December after a six-month closure, but the ramp remains landlocked.

Sea Engineering Inc. produced a report for the state Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation that said reopening the ramp would require excavating a channel maintained by jetties through the beach.

The estimated cost of building a boat ramp at Malama Flats would be about $14.5 million, officials said.

The price includes the excavation of a 295-foot-long (90-meter), 100-foot-wide (30 meter) entrance channel at a depth of 6 feet (1.8 meters.)

The cost also includes a concrete boat launch ramp, approach pad and walkway with a lava rock retaining wall and access road, officials said.

Constructing a new ramp at an alternate site would be a more straightforward project than building a boat ramp anywhere along the Lower Puna coast, engineers said.


Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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